Description

    A SOUTHERN CHEYENNE GIRL'S BEADED AND FRINGED HIDE DRESS
    c. 1890
    the yoke painted in yellow, red and green pigments, with sinew sewn and lane-stitched bands of beadwork enclosing geometric motifs on the neck and shoulders in various shades of glass seed beads, the skirt, with narrow bands of beadwork in similar colors, trimmed with dentalium shell, bead, and metal cone pendants, a zigzag band with red pigment on the hem, fine fringe overall

    Provenance:
    Christie's East, American Indian Art, December 1, 1998, lot 463
    Property from a Distinguished Private Collection

    Length: 48 inches

    Accompanied by the following letter:

    Tonganoxie, Kans.
    June 10, 1934

    My darling Mary Eleanor,

    Thank you very warmly for your pretty Easter greeting, (right here on my dressing table) and for your sweet, kind letter that should have been acknowledged long ago. It touched me very tenderly when you spoke so kindly of my dear sister, Lucy. I miss her still, and there is no one to talk to about things we were interested in.

    I am so very thankful that your health has not broken down this year, at least it hadn't when you wrote that lively letter, two months ago. Do you like to swim? Mildred passed many tests in swimming stunts, life saving, etc. She isn't here tonight, or I would ask her about them. She isn't so fortunate as you, dear girl, to take the full four-year course in college. She thought it best to go to earning some money these hard times, and has got a school at a town called Loring, ten miles away, on the road to Kansas City. It is quite an up-to-date school and she has her (illegible) - the four primary classes.

    I always intended to leave my Indian dress to your dearly-loved Grandma, who was my closest friend in the Indian Service, but she went home first, and it seemed as if the one who was so very precious to her would be the one to have it. The little girl who owned it was in my schoolroom. Her father's name was Roman Nose, and I understood they were Northern Cheyennes. The girl's school name was "Amanda." We were at the school. I always associated their tribe with Margaret Hill McCarter's book "The Pride of the Prairie," which your Grandma once gave me, autographed by the author. I was at Fort Sill during the early years of this century. I once found from a picture in Webster's dictionary that the long pendant shells belonged to a little sea creature on the Pacific coast. The Cheyennes evidently liked the tinkle of those little metal cylinders they put on the fringe at the bottom. On "pay-day" at Darlington, I remember the men and boys had them in the bunch of buckskin fringe at the back of their moccasins. This is all I can remember. Much love to you, Mama, Dad and the boys.

    Yours,

    "Aunt Pollie"






    Condition Report*:

    In overall excellent condition.  Soft and supple hide with three tears, each approx. 3/4" in length, and native repairs -- two on the front and one on the back.  Two holes, each approx. 1/2" in diameter on the back.  Otherwise, hide with usual wear, including a couple of stains.  Beadwork intact.  Dentalium shells extant, but several with breaks.  Metal cones intact.  Fine fringes intact.  Red wool trade cloth at the neck with minor loss.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Clothing, Costumes & Jerseys (view shipping information)

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    22nd-23rd Thursday-Friday
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